Interview With Author Alexis Lantgen

Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!

I’m a writer, teacher, and a classical musician. I love Renaissance Faires and all things science fiction and fantasy. My first book, Sapience, is a collection of dark science fiction short stories. Many of the stories are set in the same world, on a colony on Jupiter’s moon Europa. I chose Europa for a setting because it is one of the places in the solar system where NASA scientists think we’re most likely to find extraterrestrial life. My second book, Saints and Curses, is a collection of fantasy stories, both light and dark. Think Edgar Allan Poe, vampire cats, and Christmas elves!

My stories have also appeared in Kzine, the Gallery of Curiosities, Phantaxis, Red Sun Magazine, and Swords and Sorcery Magazine. I’ve also written nonfiction articles for Renaissance Magazine. I’m on twitter @TheWiseSerpent and @LunarianPress. I live in Texas with my husband, my spirited six year old daughter, my toddler son, and our two very patient cats.

What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?

I don’t generally take things directly from my life (at least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). But I can say a couple of very direct influences are my love of science, especially space, and my love of Schubert lieder. What does Schubert have to do with writing? Well, Schubert wrote tons of lieder (German art songs), using some incredible poetry and folktales by writers such as Heinrich Heine and Goethe. As a musician, I was originally captured by the gorgeous melodies and intense emotions of Schubert’s music, but as I went deeper into the lieder, I discovered some fascinating and deliciously creepy fairy tales, such as the story of the Erlkonig. In that way, I think I definitely owe at least one story to Schubert and Goethe!

What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

Honestly? Being boring. Anything else is probably forgivable (with the exception of a few odious sentiments, maybe).

Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

Make sure that your cover clearly communicates the genre of the book.

How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

I laugh in the face of bad reviews! Ha ha ha! Just kidding. Honestly, I’m of the opinion that it’s okay that some people don’t like or don’t love your book. Not every book is going to please every reader. Sapience, for example, has some very dark stories (I think Saints and Curses is a bit happier on the whole, with much more whimsy and lighthearted stories). Not everyone likes dark or bleak stories. That’s fine. If you’re not a fan of Black Mirror, or other similarly dark scifi, Sapience might not be a book you enjoy. On the other hand, if you love those kinds of stories, I think you’d really enjoy Sapience too.

How has your creation process improved over time?

I don’t know that it has, to be honest. Or at least, not improved consistently. I’ll get in the habit of writing every day or almost every day (usually over the summer when I’m not at work), then get smacked in the face by reality. I try to make time to write regularly, but when you have children and a full time job, it’s very difficult. I think if I had any advice for other writers, it would be to just keep going.

Tell us some quirky facts about yourself.

I have twice caught wild rabbits with my bare hands, sort of by accident? I have weird instincts.

I love marzipan.

I play viola, violin, and some piano, and I’m learning to play the ukulele.

I teach music and Texas History, and in the past I’ve taught middle school science. I taught Engligh/Language Arts for one year and I will never teach it again, so help me.

I love to play Dungeons & Dragons. I also like video games like the Witcher III, Dragon Age Inquisition, Skyrim, and Mass Effect.

My links:

Sapience (Amazon):
Saints and Curses (Amazon):
My website:


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